116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance supports a carbon dioxide pipeline that would benefit ADM, one of its members, despite opposition from many landowners on the proposed route.
“We have looked at this project and our organization supports this project and only this CO2 pipeline project in Iowa at this time,” Doug Neumann, Economic Alliance executive director, said at an informational meeting Tuesday for Wolf Carbon Solutions, which has proposed a 280-mile CO2 pipeline from ADM’s plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to an underground sequestration site in Illinois.
“To support the agribusiness economy of Iowa we need companies like ADM to be successful,” Neumann said.
Chris Riley, state government relations director for ADM, said the pipeline will help the ethanol and food production plant reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon dioxide generated by the plant would be dehydrated and compressed before being shipped in a 16-inch underground pipeline to ADM’s sequestration site near Decatur, Ill. Wolf wants to find other industrial clients to tie into the project, which would be eligible for up to $1 billion a year in federal tax credits.
“When something doesn’t seem right and you have whole communities opposed to it, you’ve got to follow the money,” said Cindy Golding, a Linn County small business owner running for Iowa House District 83 as a Republican. “Would projects such as this exist if it wasn’t to use our tax dollars to enrich an international company such as ADM?”
Jessica Wiskus, a Democrat from Lisbon running for Iowa Senate District 42, also spoke out against the pipeline Tuesday. She doesn’t think the pipelines are safe and questions the environmental benefits compared to the toll on landowners.
“In Iowa, you will ask us to live within 10’s of feet of these carbon pipelines,” she said. “And we’ll be forced to do it within the condemnation of our lands.”
Wolf officials said they do not want to use eminent domain to force landowners to grant easements for the pipeline and the company hasn’t used condemnation on past projects.
But Summit, faced with large numbers of landowners refusing to grant easements, asked the Iowa Utilities Board to permit the use of eminent domain for 681 miles of pipeline through northern and western Iowa. The board still is reviewing the company’s application.
“If you’re unable to get voluntary easements in the two-mile corridor, what are your next steps?” Linn County farmer Josh Henik asked Wolf officials Tuesday.
“If we get to a point we just can’t find anyone in the two-mile corridor, do we refile to build outside the two-mile corridor or do we use eminent domain?” Wolf President David Schmunk said, adding the company has yet to consider these options.
Several people spoke at the meeting about concerns that not everyone on the pipeline route had received official notification of the meeting.
Tracey McDaneld, Wolf’s director of government relations and land, said the company decided not to send notices to 5,289 landowners in the two-mile corridor because it does not appear the pipeline construction will affect them.
Jeff Cook, an attorney with the Office of Consumer Advocate, said at the meeting he did not think Wolf violated Iowa law by sending certified letters to a smaller pool of landowners. Wolf can’t negotiate with landowners — or pursue eminent domain — without having first provided certified notice.
Wolf may submit its permit application 30 days after its last informational meeting, now scheduled to be held virtually on Sept. 19. If the Utilities Board grants a permit, Wolf would hope to have the pipeline in service by 2025.
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